Culture Day 2016


For Culture Day, TJLS welcomed Kimono Fan to demonstrate how to wear a kimono. Our students learned the history and significance of wearing the traditional Japanese garment on a day that all in attendance will surely remember.

Kimono Fan brought many beautiful and intricate kimonos for our students to model and handle. They explained how these beautiful silk adornments were made, cared for, and worn. Our students enjoyed the opportunity to try on both men’s and women’s kimono.

Every year, TJLS students eagerly anticipate our Culture Day event in February. Past activities have included learning to play Taiko drums, dancing in the Bon Odori style, learning Japanese calligraphy, playing Karuta, painting in Sumi-e style, and more. What will next year’s Culture Day bring?

Read more in the JCCC’s newsletter, pages 17-18, here


As the days grow shorter and the nights turn frosty in Toronto, our thoughts turn to Christmas and other winter holidays. Taking place after the Christmas holiday festivities, the New Year is treated as a secondary holiday, an afterthought following the busy holiday season. But not in Japan. Japan, like many asian nations, celebrate the as a major holiday, while Christmas takes the secondary role as a holiday for romance similar to Valentine’s Day in the western nations.

Celebrating the New Year, or Oshougatsu (お正月) in Japan, involves many traditions leading up to and beyond New Year’s Day. While Japan originally followed the lunar calendar, in 1873 the nation adopted the Gregorian calendar and many of the Oshougatsu traditions moved from the first full moon of the lunar year (小正月, koshougatsu) to the first of January. The days leading up to Oshougatsu usually involve cleaning, cooking, visiting friends and family, and decorating the home. Arguments are settled, old debts are paid off, and the home is given a thorough cleaning. The idea is to start the new year off fresh, clean and prepared for a fortuitous year ahead.
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Annual General Meeting: October 25th, 2014

Proposed Amendments to the TJLS Bylaws

These proposed amendments to our bylaws reflect our current organization, communication advances since our bylaws were first written in 1987, and includes a bylaw recommended by the provincial government on Conflict of Interest issues. The Board moved a motion on August 28, 2014 to accept these amendments and bring them forward during the Annual General Meeting, to be held on October 25th, 2014, for final approval by the membership.

TJLS 2014-07-29 Bylaw Committee Report

Class Project: 川柳俳句

Our advanced students recently did a class project writing poems in Japanese. Please enjoy their contributions.

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Culture Day 2014: Bon Odori

Awa Dance Group with StudentsThis year during Culture Day on February 15th, 2014, we featured Bon Odori (盆踊り). During the summer, it is hot in Japan, but it is also very exciting as various summer festivals take place. There is a special period called Obon (お盆) in the summer, where it is believed that ancestors come back home for a reunion. Therefore, everyone tries to go back to their hometown during the Obon period to visit their family graveyard and to worship.  During that time, they dance together to celebrate their reunion. That dance is called Bon Odori (盆踊り). Continue reading

Bake Sale and Book Sale 2013

The 2013 Toronto Japanese Language School Bake Sale and Book Sale was a great success! We would like to thank all the parents, students, and teachers who contributed their delicious pastries and food to the bake sale. In addition to this, we’d like to thank the many kind volunteers who gave their time to organizing the bake sale and making it a wonderful event for everyone. Just by looking at the happy smiles of the children eating taiyaki and other pastries, we knew everyone was having a fun time! Continue reading

Okamatsu Speech Contest 2013

SpeechContest2013-03In April this year, when I was taking class at the Toronto Japanese Language School, our teacher Sugimoto  sensei told us about the Okamatsu Japanese Speech Contest to be held in the school in May. She told us that preparing and giving a Japanese speech will greatly improve our Japanese Language skills. Continue reading